Richard Neutra, promise and fulfillment, 1919-1932: selections from the letters and diaries of Richard and Dione Neutra
Southern Illinois University Press, Feb 1, 1986 - Biography & Autobiography - 240 pages
The correspondence between Richard and Dione Neutra recounts the difficult early years and the developing philosophy of a man who would change the look of architecture. But as Thomas S. Hines, Neutra’s biographer, makes clear, the book does far more than trace the development of two artistic young people: “What you have here is not only valuable material about the making of an architectural career and of a salutary and interesting marriage, but documents of European and American social and cultural history in the early twentieth century.” The letters and diary entries describe the period that followed World War I, with the unbelievable inflation in Germany and the Great Depression in America.
The settings range from imperial Vienna to imperial Japan, and from the nightmare of Ellis Island to a dream-house in Los Angeles. Along the way are fascinating glimpses of and comments from such architects as Gropius, Mendelsohn, Schindler, and Wright that further document Richard Neutra’s concepts, approaches, and attitudes, his frustrations and achievements.
Running as a charming counterpoint to these intellectual themes is the story of a romance that was to endure for half a century, for many of the letters are first and foremost love letters that chronicle the Neutra’s meeting, courtship, and first ten years of marriage. The book is generously illustrated by both personal photographs and photographs of Neutra’s work.